Saturday, June 26, 2010

beans and eggplant

we got to eat our first beans today! okay, there were only three, but the flavor- wow. I don't really think the variety is haricots verts (literally french for green bean) as our neighbor had told us, or they would be very skinny. the skin has a velvety nap which feels smooth in one direction and spiky in the other. anyone know what bean variety this is?

it's a little hard to tell from the photos, but the eggplant is tiny- barely as big as half of my pinky. these will be ichiban eggplant- the skinny, thin-skinned variety. my favorite!

today we went back to Liberty Sunset (made the rounds of all three Red Hook garden centers- this one's my favorite) and got more topsoil and some compost. the mosquitos are becoming ridiculous (having a next door neighbor that neglects its yard doesn't help) so I looked up plants that would repel them. apparently they hate anything that has a lemon scent (thus the use of citronella as a repellant) so I bought a couple of bunches of lemongrass. plus I can cook with it! also a wandering jew, the name of which I think the L.S. employee was embarrassed to say. I sprinkled the patch with compost and filled it with topsoil and was able to finish just as it started to rain. love what the rain does to the garden- we're having a near- perfect spring into summer.

I asked the woman who helped me at Gowanus Nursery (from them I bought tall echinacea flowers, Coleus inky fingers and fava beans) about the birds attacking the Sedum. She said that they were going after aphids on the leaves- so it's a good thing! she assured me that the aphids have their life cycle and in due time I won't need to worry about it. in the mean time my plant is chewed to bits. I hung old cd's (was saving them for some special project) from fishing line. the sun's reflection on them is supposed to scare birds away. but as soon as I was finished hanging them and went inside, three birds flew right over to the plant.

I found out later that fava beans are a cool weather bean, to be planted in spring or fall. b suggested keeping them on the shady side of the garden till fall. don't know if they'll produce in the fall, but it's one more thing to learn about.


frank@new york city garden said...

I've never heard of or seen birds eating aphids! Lady bugs, yes, birds no. Photo!!

dash said...

I know... I see the same plant (Stone Crop Autumn Fire) all over Brooklyn and everyone else's is fine. Not certain it's the birds, but they do love my yard. (the little sparrows)

Here's the photo:

Click on it for a larger view.

frank@new york city garden said...

If that's the birds, especially sparrows -downright weird. Maybe they're thirsty and like the succulent?

dash said...

Well like the woman at Gowanus predicted, they've stopped. Maybe they were after the aphids. I pruned the chewed tops and now they're growing back nicely.